Kerio Debuts Operator 1.1 Secure IP PBX Phone System

Operator 1.1 is available as a software appliance, with its own operating system, as well as a VMware virtual appliance.

Unified communications, collaboration and security solutions specialist Kerio Technologies announced the latest version of its IP PBX (VOIP) solution for small to medium-size businesses. Operator 1.1 offers a Web-based GUI, which has advanced drag-and-drop capabilities for interface configuration; contextual help; and a configuration assistant. As with other Kerio products, the system can be configured and managed remotely from within an Internet browser.

Kerio has also incorporated enhanced security mechanisms into Operator 1.1, including dynamic protection against password guessing and the ability to monitor and address abnormal use of any extension within the system. Operator 1.1 pricing starts at $600 for a five-user server license. The Kerio Operator Box 1210 with a 20-user license is priced at $2,000, and the 3210 with a 40-user license is priced at $3,000. Additional user licenses are at $24 each.

Operator 1.1 is available as a software appliance, with its own security-hardened operating system, as well as a VMware virtual appliance allowing for production or evaluation deployment on standard PC hardware. Kerio's stand-alone hardware appliance, the Operator Box, is available in select countries and comes in two models: the desktop Operator Box 1210, which handles up to 40 concurrent calls, and the 1U rack-mountable Operator Box 3210, which supports up to 150 concurrent calls. Operator Box 3210 can be built to order with a Digium TE122 T1/E1 or Digium B410 Euro ISDN hardware expansion card.

Additional features include SIP password guessing protection, designed to enhance safety by blocking an IP after a specified number of log-in attempts, and detection of anomalous behavior where the IT administrator can set "rules" for normal call routines to monitor behavior of the phone system. The administrator is automatically alerted when calls are made outside of these rules (such as extensive international calls) and can address the situation.

"As a Kerio Preferred Partner focused on providing our clients with top-notch service and support, Kerio's ease of use for both the provider as well as the end user has always been appreciated. With the release of Kerio Operator 1.1, they've once again taken what was once a complicated and unfriendly technology and made it available to the masses," said Sam Bergin, owner of MacServ, a managed care services provider. "When you think of ease of use and simplicity in a product, you generally expect to have to sacrifice advanced features and support. With Kerio Operator, you get the advanced feature set of Asterisk and the very functional and well-respected admin and user interfaces Kerio is known for."

Integration with Kerio Connect allows users to access, listen to or delete voicemails through their email inbox, and the platform also offers auto-provisioning, auto-attendant and personal ring groups, which allows one extension to be assigned to multiple phones. Incoming calls will ring on an office desktop phone, smartphone and softphone client installed in the computer.

The update also provides improved NAT support, which enables businesses to securely deploy Operator 1.1 in the public network with phones behind a firewall, or conversely, position Operator 1.1 on the private network and have some of the phones on the Internet. "IP PBX is a huge opportunity for VARs to grow their businesses," said Scott Schreiman, CEO of Kerio Technologies. "We have worked with the IT channel for years, and our mission is to help them understand that providing voice solutions to their clients is actually very similar to the messaging, security and storage solutions they already provide."